Tag Archives: road trip

Caution: Bridge May Ice in Winter

21 Apr

So many life lessons exist for the kids within the miles and hours spent in a cocoon on wheels with other people.

  • We need fuel to run. This can be taught by the amount of gas fill-ups needed or snack food fixes you’ll require. Even though we know they aren’t good for us, we will most often invite things we don’t eat on any other normal day – chips, beef jerky, Combos, giant pickles in bags and Swedish Fish – to be an additional travel companions.
  • Sleep happens.
  • Interstate billboards offer you plenty of knowledge nuggets about religion, sex, eating habits and laws we should follow to make society better and safer.

21 is the legal drinking age.

Litter is bad.

Speed limit is slower than you’re driving.

Seat belts even keep a picture of the state of Georgia safe.

  • Stretching is important.
  • Too much time trapped with the same people causes fits of laughter, whining, tested nerves and lunacy. Such are the emotions many of us go through on a given day.
  • The road trip games we play can offer quite a few lessons. For example, we enjoy the alphabet game. We play ours by finding words on signs, billboards and cars that go in alphabetical order. You can’t say the same word as another person unless it’s for Q, X and Z. (The toughest to find.) First person to find the Z word, wins. This most recent road trip showed me how this game wad teaching the kids:
    • Patience – sometimes you need to wait for 20 minutes and few signs before finding your word.
    • Things don’t always come easy – daddy was driving too fast by signs, some signs were blocked by other vehicles, one person would say a word faster, etc.
    • Make the best of a situation – when you are the only one still looking for a G word, sing a silly song about the letter G and how it is hiding from you. (Nia had a lot of original tunes.)
  • Be ready for the speed bumps. Traffic, accidents, car issues, items accidentally left on the roof, wrong or misread directions, a threatening wasp unexpectedly trapped in the small space with you, a spilled drink, and/or extra pit stops will attempt to throw you off course and shatter your spirit. How you handle these situations is a glimpse at how you’d handle problems at school, work or relationships. Proceed with caution.

Scenes from the Backseat

20 Nov

Our recent road trip offered plenty of entertainment and patience testers. Some of the scenes from the backseat include:

  • Drama as Nia’s seatbelt tightened on her and she couldn’t get it loose.
  • Forget, “Are we are there yet?” or “I gotta go potty.” We heard, “What street are we on now?” “What about now?” “Now?” (We were on the same road for hours.)
  • Dancing like SpongeBob SquarePants to the “Wizards In Winter” (instrumental) by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
  • Fits of giggles thanks to the Megamind Happy Meal toy.  (And some flatulence.)

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A Funeral, Family and a 3 Day Trip

3 Oct

We’re home.  The funeral service was beautiful and sad (Andrew’s dad gave the eulogy) and so many people came to say goodbye to Grandma over the two days she was shown – she was such a social butterfly and touched many lives with her personality.  I just wish she could have seen the kids one last time.

Speaking of the kids, Nia was a sweetie during it all.  There were 3 different showings over two days and then the funeral on the third day and she was so awesomely behaved I couldn’t believe it!  I mean, the whole thing is hard on us grown ups so I thought for sure it would be terrible for her – especially since she was pretty sleep deprived.  She told us she touched Grandma’s hand and that it wasn’t soft like it used to be and that she was very careful when she touched it.  She said it was her way of showing Grandma that she loved her.  How in the world does a 4 year old know that?  I asked her if anyone told her that and she said no.  She also told me that Grandma will wake up when Jesus comes to get her.  Amazing.  All I can do sometimes is look at her in shock.  She even did great in the car.  Sleeping for much of the way and never complaining.  She’s our angel.

As for Nate – well, he had his moments. Looking back on it, he was as well behaved as I could have hoped.  At the time though, it felt like I was running in circles.  The car rides and being quiet at the funeral service were hard things for him.  I had to take him outside for much of it.  Part of me felt sad that I didn’t get to properly mourn but then I thought that might be a good thing too.  He helped me keep my mind of the sadness of death and instead focus on the beauty and happiness of life.  That little boy – he might actually be an angel in disguise.

While the trip home was for Grandma’s funeral –  it did give us a chance to see family we haven’t seen in a really long time.  I’m so happy that my sister drove in from Ohio.  Even though we didn’t get to spend a ton of time together – it was so wonderful to see her and my nieces.  I needed a family fix.  I’m so thankful she came home and I can’t wait to see her, my brother-in-law (who was missed!) and the girls again soon!  We also got to see Andrew’s cousins that we haven’t seen since our wedding.  One of them is now getting married and she wants Nia to be a flower girl!  I’m so excited!

Other than all of that – here’s a few other things to note about our trip-

  • Spending 20 hours in the car within 3 days with two kids
  • 1 screaming baby boy who made sure we all knew how miserable he was being stuck in his car seat for those 20 hours. (We only really made one pit stop each way because we were driving through the night and if we let him out of the seat too many times – he wouldn’t want to get back in.)
  • Too many tears to count – crying over Grandma’s death, crying over struggling with the boy, crying over missing family
  • 1 strong White Russian that made me pass out in the chair of my living room while watching tv with my sister and devouring a bag full of those cheddar sour cream chips (not one of my best moments during the trip).
  • Tons of smiles and laughs watching the kids play with their cousins/Aunt/Uncles/Grandparents (my niece Gabbie and Nia had found some foot cushions at my house and had them on their faces!  Then they grabbed my mom’s shoes and purses and said they were “going to the doctor.”  Too cute!)
  • Several bittersweet reunions – we got to see family and people we haven’t seen in super a long time but it feels weird being happy to see them when your loved one is in the next room being mourned.
  • 1 warning from the West Virginia State Police for going 10 over the speed limit.  Andrew is like the luckiest person when it comes to tickets.  He always knows what to say – somehow he only spoke maybe 5 sentences to the officer but he managed to slip in “grandma’s funeral,” “used to be in the Army,” “when I was deployed to Iraq” and an appropriate amount of “sirs.”  Hey…he gave it a shot and it paid off!  I know it wouldn’t have worked for me!
  • Laughing hysterically at the boy and Andrew on the way home from WV.  Nate would go from screaming like a madman to calm just by Andrew saying very smoothly to him, “Nate, okay, okaaayyyy?”  Nate would say very softly back, “kay.”  I don’t know what it was but it was so funny!  Andrew had just asked him, “Nate, where’s your blankey?” to which Nate would scream, “NO!”  Andrew, “Where’s your thumb?”  Nate, “NO!”  Andrew, “Nate, okay, okaaayyy?”  Nate, “kay.”

Well, that’s it for now, okay?  Kay.

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